Browse Definitions:
Definition

line of sight (LOS)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Line of sight (LOS) is the level of obstruction on the path between two points.

The level of obstruction in a LOS determines not only the visibility from one point to another but also the quality of signal reception for wireless transmissions, such as Wi-Fi. Clear LOS is necessary for infrared wireless networking or LED-based Li-Fi.

Analysis of line of site is particularly important for planning wireless network deployment. A clear line of site between two antennas is ideal for the best reception. However, a radio signal can permeate and bend or bounce around some obstruction, unlike line of sight for an eye. LOS is often categorized with separate abbreviations for the different levels of obstruction. A fully open path is the situation abbreviated as LOS. A near line of site with partial obstructions is abbreviated as nLOS and a completely blocked non-line of sight as NLOS.

Radio frequencies penetrate more materials than photons but this penetration is not uniform and depends on density of the materials or having holes large enough for the radio waves to penetrate. A wood wall is much easier penetrated by radio than concrete, for example, and metals are even less penetrable. The dependency on density means that a clear LOS matters and that if there are any obstructions, what those obstructions are made of matters as well.

To improve the performance of a wireless network, reducing the amount of equipment required and thus the cost, it’s important to carefully consider LOS obstructions and their materials, as well as interfering networks and radio noise from other electronic and mechanical equipment around wireless gateways or antennas.

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About line of sight (LOS)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

SearchHealthIT

  • national provider identifier (NPI)

    A national provider identifier (NPI) is a unique ten-digit identification number required by HIPAA for covered healthcare ...

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close